I’m ready…

Ever since I found out what the Creative Founder class was about, I’ve been wanting to take it ever since. I was hearing all of these stories about how taking the class would really improve your presentation and teamwork skills. While creating our own company was an interesting idea to me, I was drawn more towards the fact that I may be able to develop myself as a student with the hard skills I’d learn from there. I knew that it would be a big time commitment, but I felt ready to handle the workload.

My promise to be more assertive and confident for the new semester during Jorge Arango’s and Chris Baum’s workshop during UX Week 2017

I was feeling a little daunted when the class actually started, but the first few days we were working on individual assignments so it didn’t really feel that different from other classes I’ve taken. Being put into groups was another story. While it wasn’t my first time working in a group project, it was the first where we all seemed to share the same personality, similar working habits, and similar ideas. The first few weeks felt great. Things were running relatively smoothly, and we were able to set a designated time that was reserved solely for working on the assignments and presentations for the class. We were able to choose a topic with little dispute and the whole group was dedicated to making sure our work was up to par.

Things seemed to go a lot faster when we hired a new member into our team. It wasn’t disruptive to our flow, rather it improved it because we were able to work a little more efficiently. We all felt comfortable with each other and things seemed to open up when we had empathy day. It was one of the best experiences I had with a team, because we all opened up to each other in a way that most teams at this school and in this major weren’t able to do.

When it came to choosing team roles, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little afraid that having roles would affect the team dynamic that we had, but it turned out that they simply felt like titles. We all did the work together, with a few disputes here and there along the way, but we got things done. Before I took the class, the idea of possibly being CEO to the group was daunting. I would have opted for another role, one where I didn’t have to lead people and instead could just do the work and follow directions. However, when the rest of the group suggested I become the CEO, I felt ready. I spent the semester reflecting on myself, on what I was doing wrong or right and how I could improve. While at the end I knew I could have done better, I knew it was the best group of people to test out my leadership skills because they were so understanding.

While I learned a lot of things around creating a startup and all the complicated steps involved, I have to say the most valuable things I learned from the class was about myself and about working with teams. There were times when we would be at odds about something and it would create some tension among us. When things got out of hand, I would do my best to diffuse the situation by trying to find a compromise or develop the best plan of action in order to get everything checked off the list. During those times, I would be telling myself that I should be more assertive and just say, “We should do this,” but I always wanted to make sure that everyone would be happy, or at least satisfied in the end, so I knew I was lacking a little in that aspect.

I also learned from my own mistakes. There was one instance where I ended up micromanaging without realizing it. When it affected one of my teammates, I knew what I did was wrong and I was able to admit and fix my mistake without feeling any resentment or humiliation. I was glad that it had happened because it helped me take note of my own actions and to be more humble when situations like that arise in the future.

Many things about this semester has helped me feel more confident about myself and my work. I was thankful for the group I had because we all supported each other and made sure that we had fun while we were working, which was a rare experience for me when it came to group projects. This class has helped me feel ready to go out and tackle any project or assignment that comes my way. I no longer feel nervous to go up to the front of a room and give a presentation. I’m prepared to deal with different types of team members and ready to handle the outcome. I’m ready to go out and be the best version of myself.